Sucks to hear your dilemma!
I agree with the others, as to the Company Policy issue being disregarded by these few Employees being a legitimate termination scenario. If they are aware of the penalties for not following the Policies, and repeatedly breach it, then this affects the Company overall - and also affects the Clients you do work for.
Hopefully you have an Employee Handbook, or other such manual covering the Company's Policies.
If you do not have this document, I suggest you compile one ASAP. Make it fair to both parties - Company and Employee, include all Policies (Attendance, Harassment of any kind, Confidentiality, Theft, Alcohol/Drug use, code of ethics, defaming the Company, Client relations, etc.) and present this to all Employees for their review (each gets their own copy).
Have each Employee sign a document which acknologes receiving, reading and understanding the policies contained within the handbook. Answer any questions prior to them signing the document.
One suggestion was to have documents regarding tardiness and excessive absences signed, which is the best method for both yourself (the "Company" and "You"), along with the Employee(s).
So far, there must have been at least one verbal warning, so the next steps are one written warning, then written 1 day off without pay, then written 2 days off without pay, then finally termination.
Each written document to be signed by parties involved, and maybe witnessed if you feel/need to go that much in detail.
These documents should have a "reasonable" time of accumulation included - meaning like in a 60 day time period, accumulating 5 inexcusable lates (define late being more than X minutes late to the job or Office), or X unexcused absences, results in termination.
If there are real, serious and legitimate reasons for these few Employees to be late / absent, plus they and you are willing to discuss it rationally at the time, and the Company has not been affected as result of their actions, and they are not trying to undermine the Company or Client, then work together to resolve this crucial issue.
If they could not care less about being late or absent, give them the signed and verbal warnings, days off, then the Pink Termination Check!
I am not sure about Illinois, but out here in Californication... errr,,, I mean California
, it is an "At-Will Employment" State, so either party may terminate Employment at any time, for any reason - with or without cause.
Speaking of Employment in the "Great"
State of Californication, this quoted statement is kind of funny:
One has plans to travel Europe on their unemployment check.
Out here, one may only collect 2/3 of their "Highest Quarter" for Unemployment, which is sent every two weeks.
Unless the Person was making $5,000 a week for no less than 12 consecutive weeks - and the Person also has almost no outgoing funds (rent, bills, food, etc.), and can have their Unemployment Checks sent to Europe - AND CASHED THERE TOO!!!, then that Person will be staying over there in Europe for a really long time... in a Cardboard Box, under a Freeway Overpass.
Feel free to pass on this "Travel Advise" to the would-be Traveler!
edited to fix incorrect spelling of "affect"
[This message has been edited by Scott35 (edited 07-24-2005).]